YoYo Games promotes Stuart Poole to general manager
Poole was previously head of production and partnerships, replaces outgoing GM James Cox
YoYo Games promotes Stuart Poole to general manager
Poole was previously head of production and partnerships, replaces outgoing GM James Cox
Increase Your Presence And Impact For Every Pitch, Presentation, Or Speech
People pay more attention to you when you do nothing.If this sounds backwards to you, you’re not alone.In my time as a public speaking and #communication coach, I’ve seen hundreds afflicted by habits that cause them to move their legs, arms, and head in a way that completely distracts the audience from their message.From politicians to CEOs, people continually wander or shift around when they speak.This instinct comes from a survival mechanism called ‘fight or flight.’When you see a group of hungry looking mammals (such as your team or clients!) looking in your direction, your body wants to either leave the situation or attack.This leads you to step back and forth. The motion may continue for ten minutes or two hours without you even realizing it, causing a huge repetitive distraction for anyone (...)
Cable ship capsizes near Singapore after tanker collision | Reuters
An undersea cable and pipe-laying ship, the Vanuatu-flagged MV Star Centurion, capsized in the Indonesian waters of the Singapore Straits after a collision with a tanker on Sunday, with no fatalities, authorities said on Monday.
The Singapore Straits are one of the world’s busiest shipping zones with hundreds of container ships, oil and fuel tankers and dry bulk carriers daily traversing the waters that connect east Asia to Europe, India and Africa.
The collision happened just north of Bintan, an Indonesian island in the Riau Islands province that sits opposite the city-state of Singapore.
“°It’s already capsized,°” Samsul Nizar, the head of operations at the Indonesian coast guard base at Tanjung Uban on Bintan, told Reuters by telephone, “°but it hasn’t sunk completely.°”
Cable Layer Star Centurion T-Boned by Tanker Off Singapore – gCaptain
Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed the Centurion, a 13,000 deadweight tonne ship specialising in laying cables and pipes on the ocean floor, was anchored in the Horsburgh OPL zone, an area in which ships take on marine fuel, on the eastern edge of the Singapore Straits. Meanwhile, the Antea, a 40,000-deadweight-tonne oil product tanker, was steaming past it.
Encore un abordage sur un bateau à l’ancre,…
AIS Animation by VesselFinder:
Bricked in by poverty, Cambodia’s farmers fight debt bondage
Bopha should be in school but instead toils seven days a week in a searing brick kiln on the outskirts of Phnom Penh — a 14-year-old trapped in debt bondage in a boom industry preying on the poverty of Cambodia’s farmers.
Unpredictable weather linked to climate change is laying waste to Cambodian fields.
Saddled with debt from failed harvests, tens of thousands of farmers are turning to brick factories, where owners pay off their bills in exchange for labour.
The factories feed a surging construction sector, with high-rises cropping up around the capital Phnom Penh and beyond as money — much of it from China — pours in.
But for the farmers who shape and bake the clay bricks, Cambodia’s newfound urban prosperity has passed them by.
“I’m not going to school, I’m trying to help pay back the $4,000 that we owe, even if it will take years,” Bopha told AFP, as she loaded clay blocks on to a cart.
“For 10,000 bricks transported, we receive $7.50.”
Cambodian labour law prohibits those aged 12-15 from working if the job is hazardous or interferes with their education.
Yet Bopha works all week with her family.
They were driven into the industry two years ago after drought ruined their rice harvest, leaving them with no way of paying back money they borrowed to plant crops.
A factory owner took over the debt and they went to work in the kilns about an hour’s drive from the capital.
There, a dirt road leading to the sprawling facility is lined with hundreds of kilns resembling small pyramids.
Bopha and her family are likely to be trapped for years as they try to clear their debts, in what campaigners warn amounts to modern-day slavery.
Like most workers interviewed for this article they asked that their full names not be used for fear of losing their jobs.
The University of London said in an October study that brick factories in Cambodia were creating a “multi-generational workforce of adults and children trapped in debt bondage -– one of the most prevalent forms of modern slavery in the world”.
And the link between climate change and debt bondage is stark, explains Naly Pilorge, head of Cambodian rights NGO Licadho.
“Many industries around the world employ climate refugees,” she said. “But what is unique in the brick factories in Cambodia is that the vast majority of workers are imprisoned in debt bondage.”
Compensation is not enough to pay off debts quickly, and the workers become virtual prisoners of owners who do not let them leave until they pay what they owe — with some living there indefinitely.
– ’They ignore their rights’ -
Sov will soon be able to take a two-day holiday to return to her village in Stung Treng province in the north. But her husband and children must stay at the factory.
“The boss is afraid we will run away without paying,” she said, standing in a maze of bricks.
She started working at the factory two decades ago with a debt of $2,500. Now, at 57, she owes double that due to medical treatments and the cost of raising her children.
“I will have to leave this debt to my children,” she said.
Many workers have persistent health problems because of the smokey kilns, where men and women graft without gloves and masks. Complaints about respiratory or skin diseases, headaches and nosebleeds are common.
Dim Phally, 31, works in Thmey village with her husband. They have two kids.
When they went to borrow money, they were told by the brick factory owner to sign a document and pose for a photo holding the funds.
The contract says they have to pay back double if they try to escape. She still owes $1,500.
“I hope I can repay the owner and leave this place,” she said.
Kiln workers have little recourse if abuses occur.
Sok Kin, president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union of Cambodia, said bosses can be violent, but he cannot recall a case where any were prosecuted.
As for the workers, “they don’t understand their rights and are afraid of losing their jobs”.
He called for a minimum wage to be established and a nationwide campaign to raise awareness among the workers of their rights.
The government has repeatedly said it will investigate the situation. The Ministry of Labour did not respond to a request for comment.
Owners of multiple brick factories declined to speak with AFP.
Many workers do not see things changing soon.
“If we can repay the debt, we leave,” said Phan Heng, 33, while taking a break.
“And if we cannot repay it, we stay and work until our kids grow up and can help us.”
Et une vidéo sur le compte twitter de Al Jazeera :
The shady origins of gold refined in Switzerland
Most of the gold in the world passes through Switzerland. This is a business worth CHF70-90 billion ($70-90 billion) depending on the year. Gold arrives here in unrefined form, and leaves the country in all its glittering purity.
Sometimes, though, it is of highly dubious provenance. The government recognises the risk, which is why it recently issued a report on the subject. This report raises concerns over the exploitation of mine workers, and makes several recommendations to Swiss firms active in the field.
Swiss refineries process 70% of the unrefined gold mined in the world each year. Four of the nine major players in the global gold industry conduct most of their business here in Switzerland. While the gold originates in ninety different countries, roughly half of all the gold imported for processing in Switzerland comes from Britain, the United Arab Emirates or Hong Kong – three countries that produce no gold themselves.
Gold accounts for 63% of Britain’s exports to Switzerlandexternal link, 92% of the Emirates’ and 78% of Hong Kong’s. But then too, Switzerland imports a significant amount of gold from countries that largely depend on it as a main export, such as #Burkina_Faso (where gold represents 72% of the country’s exports), #Ghana (51%) and #Mali (77%).
As can be seen from the accompanying chart, some of the main gold producers are countries not exactly known for respecting human rights. But looking at the second table, we also see that among the gold producers are several countries at war, which use the profits from gold to bankroll hostilities. In all these cases, the phrase used is “illegal gold” or “dirty gold” or even “blood gold”.
An important economic sector
To show just how important this sector is for the Swiss economy: in 2017, for example, 2404 metric tons of gold were imported, with a value of about CHF70 billion. In the same year Switzerland exported gold worth approximately CHF67 billion. In other words, 24% of Swiss exports and 31% of imports were directly linked to gold.
To compare this with the other “jewels in the crown” of Swiss industry: in the same period the country’s watchmakers made about CHF20 billion in exports, the equivalent about 24 million watches and clocks. Swiss chocolate makers exported just under CHF1 billion, or 128,000 tons of chocolate.
To match the achievements of the gold sector, these other industries would have to export 85 billion chocolate bars or 84 million watches and clocks. Only the pharmaceutical industry packs more economic weight: in 2017 the Swiss pharma giants exported goods to the value of CHF 98 billion.
The trade in gold is worth one out of three Swiss franc’s worth of imports, and a quarter of a franc’s worth of exports. Not exactly peanuts, is it? The charts provided by the Observatory of Economic Complexity are instructive in this regard:
This is not a sector known for transparency. Far from it. There has been no lack of scandals over the years – from Peru to Togo (see story), via Burkina Faso and the Congo. In all these cases there has been talk of “blood gold” arriving from these countries in Switzerland to be refined. Then the gold in all its purity ends up in Britain, India, China and Hong Kong.
What is “blood gold”?
What exactly counts as “blood gold”? As the name implies, it’s gold stained with human blood, extracted in ways that fly in the face of human rights. “Bloody gold” also involves trampling of the rights of native peoples to self-determination and ownership of their ancestral lands.
Illegal mining of gold causes environmental damage, mainly due to pollution by heavy metals. Furthermore, gold mining often goes together with gun-running for local wars, organised crime, and money laundering.
Some of this gold has a way of getting to Switzerland for refining. The Swiss government has long been aware of this risk. In its report on the trade in gold published recently, it admits it cannot exclude the possibility that gold produced at the expense of human rights may be coming into Switzerland.
Blood gold - origin and traceability
In a joint statement, several of the Swiss NGOs active in campaigning for human rights agree that the government’s analysis pinpoints the major problems in this high-risk economic sector, but they find that the solutions proposed are inadequate.
One of the main problems is knowing where the gold actually comes from. More than half of all gold entering Switzerland comes from Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. These countries no more produce gold than does Switzerland itself. They are just the second-last stop on the journey of unrefined gold from other parts of the world.
“Multinationals that refine gold in Switzerland know perfectly well where their raw materials are coming from," say Marc Ummel, head of development policy in the raw materials sector at Swissaid. "They just don’t say it.”
While the federal government recognises in its report that the origins of gold need to be traceable, in practice the regulatory agencies just know the last country it came from, not the real country of origin.
For Ummel, the answer to the problem is simple. “We call on the government to require the Federal Customs Administration to find out the origin of goods arriving and not just the last country exporting them to Switzerland”.
Over the years, adds Ummel, the gold industry multinationals have been saying they want to improve the quality of information available. “But what does that mean? It would be enough just to declare the origin of the gold, what country, what mine it is coming from, and above all whether these mining operations pay heed to basic human rights and respect the environment. That would be improving the quality of information all right. But it isn’t happening.”
As the government’s own report says, Swiss refineries apply “voluntary” standards to ensure that production is in line with social and environmental considerations. But there is no obligation to comply.
The federal government itself endorses (but does not enforce) the standards developed by the OSCE and encourages (but does not compel) corporations to implement them.
The “Better Gold Initiative” (BGI) was launched by Switzerland in 2013 in Peru with a view to sourcing gold from small-scale mines that respect the voluntary sustainability guidelines. The project meant that from 2013 to 2017, some 2.5 tons of gold produced in a responsible manner were extracted and sold. It was certainly a laudable undertaking, but it represented no more than 0.015% of yearly world production.
Well-meaning but imperfect legislation
Swiss legislation already on the books is among the strictest in the world in regulating trade in gold, the federal government says. Laws on control of precious metals and combatting money-laundering aim to ensure that gold being processed in the refineries does not come from illegal mining.
Ummel does not share this view. “It’s not really true,” he says. “The European Union, even the US, have stricter laws. Swiss law does try to curb illegal gold mining, but, as the government admits, it does not have explicit provisions on respecting human rights.” Despite this admission, the federal government sees no need for new legislation in the matter.
Why this reluctance? Ummel has his theories. “The federal government talks about the tough international competition that the Swiss industry has to confront,” he notes. “So, not wishing to add to the difficulties of a sector involving one third of all imports and a quarter of all exports, the government has little inclination to clean things up.”
Competition is a fact. As Ummel himself admits, “there are more refineries in the world than there is unrefined gold.”
What’s the answer?
In its report, the federal government has eight recommendations for greater transparency, but it is not considering making anything compulsory.
The NGOs, in contrast, are calling for a requirement of “due diligence” (▻https://www.swissaid.ch/fr/conseil-federal-rapport-or), with sanctions that would be invoked if the diligence was not done. That is, they say, the only real step to take in the direction of trasparency. It remains to be seen whether the industry is able – or willing – to do it.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian crowds marched, Saturday noon, in the funeral of Amal Mustafa Taramsi , 43, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday afternoon.
Hundreds of Palestinians, alongside head of the Hamas movement’s politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, and several other movement leaders took part in the funeral.
The funeral procession set off from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City towards her home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood before burial at the neighborhood’s cemetery.
More than 25 Palestinians were injured during Friday protests with live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets while dozens of others suffered tear-gas inhalation.
Two journalists and a paramedic were among injuries, while a Palestinian ambulance was also targeted by Israeli forces.
Updated : Soldiers Kill One Woman, Injure 25 Palestinians, Including A Medic and Two Journalists, In Gaza
January 11, 2019 4:46 PM
The Palestinian Health Ministry said the slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Amal Mustafa at-Taramisi , 43, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, north of Gaza city.
It added that the woman was shot in her head, and died from her serious wounds shortly after she was injured.
Horrid Henry: The Movie (2011) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.AM]
IMDB Rating: 3.7/10Genre: Adventure / Comedy / FamilySize: 792.96 MBRuntime: 1hr 33 minWhen Henry fails yet again to hand in his homework for the umpteenth time, he has no idea that this will set off a chain of events which will see him forming an unlikely alliance with Moody Margaret, the infuriating girl next door, and his irritating little brother Perfect Peter, outwitting corrupt School Inspectors and toppling an evil Headmaster, winning a talent contest and facing his ultimate nemesis with no way out - all because he is trying to save the very school which he has always professed to hate!
AGSIW | Saudi Arabia Sings a Nationalist Tune
With a majority youth population, Saudi Arabia has turned to new forms of communication to reach its population. One of the most influential leaders of this campaign is Turki Al Sheikh, a childhood friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Al Sheikh is a larger-than-life figure in the crown prince’s close inner circle. He is an advisor to the Royal Court and had been the head of the General Sports Authority until he was recently appointed the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.
Très intéressant aussi sur le site,
Let Me Entertain You: Saudi Arabia’s New Enthusiasm for Fun Social outings with mixed genders, open cinemas, and performing arts represent a dramatic reversal from the past when Saudis pursued their amusements in private or abroad. What explains the government’s new enthusiasm for fun?
#Kenya to teach #Mandarin Chinese in primary school — Quartz Africa
The country’s curriculum development institute (KICD) has said the design and scope of the mandarin syllabus have been completed and will be rolled in out in 2020. Primary school pupils from grade four (aged 10) and onwards will be able to take the course, the head of the agency Julius Jwan told Xinhua news agency. Jwan said the language is being introduced given Mandarin’s growing global rise, and the deepening political and economic connections between Kenya and China.
BIMCO Calls on EU, China and U.S. to Support Counter-Piracy Ops in Gulf of Guinea – gCaptain
The EU, China, and the U.S. need to step up their support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea amid a scourge of attacks and kidnappings in the region, international shipping association BIMCO said Wednesday.
Around 40 ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Guinea in the past 12 months. Most recently, six seafarers were kidnapped from the MSC Mandy, which was on the way to Lagos, Nigeria.
BIMCO called piracy in the Gulf of Guinea an unacceptable burden to seafarers and shipping companies, BIMCO said in a press release. For this reason, BIMCO is asking on behalf of its members that maritime powers increase their presence and expand their collaboration with local states to curb piracy.
“We look towards the EU, China and the United States to join forces and deploy naval capacity in the Gulf of Guinea to end this constant threat to seafarers,“ Jakob P. Larsen, BIMCO Head of Maritime Security, says.
In the 2013 Yaoundé Code of Conduct, states in the Gulf of Guinea recognized that piracy constituted an issue and initiated several initiatives to strengthen maritime security. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct was inspired by the United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012) and contains several initiatives to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED
Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.
Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.
Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.
THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.
TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.
Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.
A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.
It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.
Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.
For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.
“There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”
He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.
Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”
Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.
The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.
ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.
Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.
His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.
On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.
Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”
In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”
For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.
Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals
None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.
THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.
Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”
At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.
It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.
The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.
The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.
An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.
Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.
Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”
On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.
When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.
Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.
INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.
Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.
By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.
The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.
As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.
Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”
Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.
As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.
The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)
The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.
Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”
The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.
The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.
Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.
From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.
Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.
IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.
The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.
With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.
The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.
As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”
At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”
Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”
After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.
Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.
There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.
The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.
To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”
Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.
Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.
That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.
To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.
“We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”
At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.
At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”
From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.
Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.
THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.
The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.
Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.
An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.
With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.
That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”
The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.
JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.
The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.
“Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”
That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.
“Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”
For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.
Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”
Top boss pay overtakes staff in three days, report says
In the first three days of 2019 top bosses will have earned more than the typical worker will earn all year, according to a report.
Mais c’est que des jaloux, parce que les gens en haut, c’est les meilleurs de toutes façons alors.
However, free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute described the research as “cod statistics”.
“If these activist organisations actually cared about workers, and not just the politics of envy against our best and brightest, they would talk about ways to actually increase worker pay,” said Matthew Lesh, head of research at the Institute.
“Limits on executive pay would drive top British talent and companies offshore, ultimately leading to fewer jobs and lower pay for workers,” he said.
Fat Cat Friday should shatter the myth that Britain’s bosses deserve their pay | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
Please raise a glass – if you’re not doing Dry January, of course – to our nation’s exceptionally talented CEOs and their superhuman work ethic and skills. For the average executive to have earned the equivalent of a worker’s average annual salary by 4 January is surely testament to an unimaginable amount of hard work and graft. They must truly deserve the 11% hike in their salaries since last year, unlike millions of good-for-nothing slackers like nurses and teachers who have endured years of stagnating pay.
It is worth taking a moment to absorb how great the gap now is between the worker and the boss. Top executives now earn 133 times more than the average worker; in 1998, the ratio was 47. The salary of the average FTSE chief executive is the same as that of 386 Britons on minimum wage combined. This in a country where workers have suffered the worst squeeze in wages for generations, where most Britons languishing in poverty are actually in work, where child poverty has increased at its fastest rate for three decades, and where one in every 200 people are classed as homeless or in inadequate homes. It is not a trend restricted to Britain, of course: US top bosses earn 312 times the average worker’s wage.
We are indoctrinated to believe that the booming paypackets of the boss class are down to their get-up-and-go, their innovation, their phenomenal hard work. This is used to justify and rationalise the explosion of inequality, not as evidence of an utterly broken social and economic model, but as just desserts.
Quant à #cod_statistics, j’imagine qu’il faut prendre au pied de la lettre : statistiques de morue …
Il y a bien des COD statistics ou encore CoD statistics, mais avec des capitales ; habituellement Causes of Death statistics, plus rarement, Cooccurences of Disorders statistics.
Le communiqué de l’Adam Smith Institute n’en dit pas plus, même s’il permet de bien comprendre pourquoi il ne faut pas mettre de bornes aux rémunérations des grands chefs à plumes.
Fat Cat Cod Stats Won’t Help Workers — Adam Smith Institute
The High Pay Centre and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have declared today to be “Fat Cat Friday”.
Matthew Lesh, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, commented:
“Another year, another set of cod statistics on executive pay. If these activist organisations actually cared about workers — and not just the politics of envy against our best and brightest — they would talk about ways to actually increase worker pay.”
“The only way to increase wages is by boosting productivity through innovation, cutting red tape, and making it easier for people to move for jobs.”
“In a global market for CEOs, British firms must be able to compete for top CEOs who provide immense value to companies. Decisions made by Britain’s makers and doers now have global impacts and their value to firms reflects this.”
“Limits on executive pay would drive top British talent and companies offshore, ultimately leading to fewer jobs and lower pay for workers.”
Founder Interviews: Asher King Abramson of Bell Curve
After building 20 side projects that nobody bought, Asher decided to learn the principles of growing a business, and now trains Y Combinator startups how to grow.Davis Baer: What’s your background, and what are you working on?I’m Asher King Abramson, partner at Bell Curve and head of its growth marketing training arm. We teach #founders and new marketers how to get more paying customers.Multiple startups have raised their next round directly because of us, and Y Combinator brings us in to lead sessions on growth.As far as background: before Bell Curve, I worked a software engineer for a few years. Then, I joined the leadership team at App Academy as we grew from 20 students to 80 students per cohort.As far as Bell Curve itself: we’ve been bootstrapped and profitable since day one. We’re at (...)
What are the characteristics of 6-18 Rows Wheat/Rice/Grass seed Sowing Equipment?
With the improvement of agricultural machinery and equipment technology, mechanical equipment is now being used more and more widely, and 6-18 Rows Wheat/Rice/Grass seed Sowing Equipment is the first choice for many agricultural users, so what are the agricultural equipment? What about the features? Today, Aike will come to summarize it for everyone.
1: Handle can be high and low, length adjustment, suitable for everyone.
2: The seesaw is subjected to high temperature carburizing and no further processing is required.
3: Fertilizing and sowing, when the ground is smashed, there is a pressing wheel, which does not need to be carried, which is convenient and labor-saving.
4: Advanced truss design, the inclined support plate is provided with adjustment holes, which are used to adjust the head of the seesaw, the head, and the depth of the ground. The height adjustment of the lame leg is the auxiliary adjustment of the height of the handlebar, and it does not have the effect of adjusting the depth of the squat.
5: The fertilizer bucket bracket has 3 screws fixed in front and rear for easy disassembly. It can be removed when not in use to prevent damage. The original separation design, V-belt drive, there is no problem with the top chain. Seeding and fertilization can be carried out in two rows, single line, before and after use, and fertilization can be carried out simultaneously. Adjust the handle, the amount of fertilizer can be adjusted from 5 to 50 kg. Replacing the building, you can broadcast a variety of crops.
The above is a description of the 6-18 Rows Wheat/Rice/Grass seed Sowing Equipment introduced for you, and I hope to help you better use mechanical equipment.
Fascism in Chicago | WTTW Chicago
September 6, 2018 - by Daniel Hautzinger - Last year, a pair of Chicago aldermen proposed renaming a Chicago street to honor the journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, and in July of this year the proposal was approved for a stretch of Congress Parkway. But Congress wasn’t the street originally considered for renaming; rather, it was Balbo Drive.
7th Street became Balbo Drive in 1934, in recognition of Italo Balbo, a leading Italian Fascist under Benito Mussolini. There’s also Balbo Monument east of Soldier Field, a 2,000-year-old column donated by Mussolini to the city the same year. Why does Chicago have a street and monument honoring a Fascist?
In 1933, Balbo led twenty-four seaplanes on a pioneering sixteen-day transatlantic journey from Rome to Chicago, flying over the Century of Progress World’s Fair before landing in Lake Michigan near Navy Pier. Balbo and the pilots were celebrated by Chicago’s high society over the next three days. Chief Blackhorn of the Sioux, who was participating in the World’s Fair, granted Balbo a headdress and christened him “Chief Flying Eagle;” Balbo gave the Chief a Fascist medallion in return. He and his pilots then continued on to New York City. Balbo was featured on the cover of Time magazine and had lunch with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The following year, Mussolini sent the column to Chicago to commemorate Balbo’s flight, and it was installed in front of the Fair’s Italian Pavilion. 40,000 people attended its unveiling, and a speech by Balbo was broadcast by radio from Italy. After the defeat of the Fascists in World War II and the revelation of their crimes, Italy’s ambassador to the United States suggested that marks of respect on the column to Balbo and the Fascist government be removed. Despite those changes, the monument still stands, and Balbo Drive retains its name despite the proposal to change it, being a point of pride for many Italian Americans in Chicago.
The World’s Fair was also the site of a subtle protest against fascism in Europe, when a pageant dramatizing Jewish religious history took place in Soldier Field in July of 1933. According to the Chicago Daily News, the event drew 150,000 people of various faiths, and the “spiritual kinship” and “fine fellowship” between Christians and Jews there would “carry rebuke to those who oppress the Jew” in “Hitler’s Germany.”
Two years later, Soldier Field saw a different kind of demonstration that does not seem to have been explicitly anti-Semitic but did feature the Nazi swastika. In 1936, a “German Day” rally included a march with both the American flag and a flag bearing the swastika. But the German American community in Chicago mostly laid low during World War II, careful to conceal their ethnicity and avoid experiencing some of the anti-German sentiment they had already experienced during World War I. However, in 1939 a rally in Merrimac Park supporting the German-American Bund, an organization sympathetic to Nazism and Hitler, attracted several thousand people.
Decades later, a tiny flare-up of support for fascism in Chicagoland attracted outsized national attention. In 1977, a small neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America sought to hold a demonstration in the northern suburb of Skokie, which had a large population of Jewish people, including some 7,000 survivors of the Holocaust. The suburb originally planned on letting the demonstration happen and moving on, but was convinced by members of its Jewish community to prevent it. (In 1966, the head of the American Nazi Party came to Chicago to march against Martin Luther King, Jr. as Dr. King protested unfair housing practices in the city.)
After passing ordinances that would prevent the demonstration, Skokie was challenged in court by the neo-Nazis, who were supported by the legal backing of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU did not support the views of the group, but rather sought to protect the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who led the case, was Jewish.
30,000 members of the ACLU resigned in protest, and financial support for the organization dropped precipitately. Yet the lawyers persevered, fearing that any denial of free speech was a slippery slope. Through various courts, injunctions, and proposed legislation, the neo-Nazis eventually won the case, which even made it to the Supreme Court.
But the neo-Nazis never demonstrated in Skokie. Instead, they staged two marches in Chicago, one downtown and one in Marquette Park. Counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the ten or twenty neo-Nazis in both cases. The leader who spearheaded the marches and garnered the media’s attention during the Skokie case was later convicted for child molestation. (The hapless National Socialist Party of America is famously satirized in the 1980 film Blues Brothers.)
In the wake of the Skokie case, Illinois became the first state to mandate Holocaust education in schools. And in 2009, Skokie became the site of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, an implicit rebuke to the attempted Nazi demonstrations of three decades prior.
Amid an Export Boom, the U.S. Is Still Importing #Natural_Gas - Bloomberg
The U.S. may be exporting natural gas at a record clip, but that hasn’t stopped it from accepting new imports. A tanker with fuel from Nigeria has berthed at the Cove Point import terminal in Maryland, while a second ship with Russian gas is idling outside Boston Harbor.
Pipeline constraints, depleted stockpiles and a 98-year-old law barring foreign ships from moving goods between U.S. ports is opening the way for liquefied natural gas to be shipped from overseas with prices expected to spike as the East Coast winter sets in.
The two tankers are carrying about 6 billion cubic feet of #LNG, enough to power 150,000 homes for a year. At one point Thursday, the ship carrying Nigerian fuel to Cove Point passed another tanker in the Chesapeake Bay filled with U.S. gas that was headed abroad.
“It is ironic,’” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. But the “super cheap gas” produced in the nation’s shale fields “is trapped down west of the Mississippi unable to serve its own market,” he said by phone. “The gas is where the people aren’t.”
bout the money. The companies shipping the gas into Maryland — BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc — will likely have it stored until freezing East Coast temperatures push prices higher as local suppliers struggle to meet demand, according to Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas, coal and carbon with the London-based industry consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. in a note to clients on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the gas being exported out will likely fetch higher prices right now in Europe and Asia. Dominion Energy Inc., which owns the Cove Point terminal, didn’t respond to emailed and telephone requests seeking comment.
Other factors are at play as well. For instance, American providers can’t just ship LNG from shale fields in the south because the giant ships that transport the super-chilled fuel sail under foreign flags. Under the 1920 #Jones_Act, that means none can legally transport LNG to the Northeast from existing export terminals in Louisiana and Texas.
At the same time, even the vast pipeline network feeding the region can quickly develop bottlenecks at a time when stockpiles are sitting at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2002. While production is soaring, strong demand from more and more U.S. power plants using the fuel, along with new export terminals, soaks up much of that new supply.
“There’s still some logistics and pipelines that need to be built to match out to where the demand is,” Kilduff said.
US Syria withdrawal may speed up Arab-Israeli detente, well-connected rabbi says | The Times of Israel
The rabbi, Marc Schneier of New York, also predicted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Bahrain next month, and that the small Gulf kingdom will soon establish formal ties with Israel.
(...) Schneier, the founder and head of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, has for many years conducted extensive ties with the rulers of many Muslim countries, including nearly all Gulf states.
Earlier this month, he was named a “special adviser” to the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. In this unpaid position, the rabbi was tasked with assisting the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence based in Manama, and to “help in preserving and growing the country’s Jewish community,” he said.
(...) “There’s a growing interest on part of Gulf leaders to developing Jewish life,” said Schneier, who established and runs a Jewish community in the Hamptons.
Earlier this month, The Times of Israel for the first time revealed the existence of a tiny Jewish community in Dubai. Jewish communities exist also in Bahrain and Qatar, according to Schneier.
“There is a genuine commitment and desire to establish relations with Israel,” he said. “It used to be, ‘Let the Israelis and Palestinians work our their differences and then call us.’ Now it’s, ‘Let the Israelis and Palestinians be in discussion and at the same time we can discuss establishing relations,’” he said.
“I predict that in 2019 it will happen. You will see one or two Gulf states establishing diplomatic relations with Israel. I think Bahrain will be the first.”
N’allez surtout pas croire que cet étrange rabbin soit le moins du monde un fonctionnaire israélien officieusement en poste dans ce petit Etat du Golfe...
What do we know about data on environmental migration?
Disaster displacement forces millions of people away from their homes every year. Many more move in the context of environmental changes. Estimating the number of people affected remains a challenge for the international community. #Atle_Solberg, Head of the Platform on Disaster Displacement and , specialist of environmental geopolitics and migration dynamics, share their views on this topic.
Ce qui me fait penser à cette maxime (citation attribuée à W. E. Deming,
In God we trust, all others bring data.
Nintendo head of partner management departs
Damon Baker pursuing new opportunity after 12 years with the company
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teen, on Thursday night, at the Beit El checkpoint north of al-Bireh City in the central occupied West Bank.
A Ma’an reporter said that the Palestinian Liaison identified the teen as Qassem Muhammad Ali al-Abbasi , 17, from the Silwan town in East Jerusalem.
Initial reports said that the driver of a Palestinian vehicle attempted to drive into the checkpoint before Israeli soldiers opened fire critically injuring him.
However, al-Abbasi’s friends who were with him in the vehicle refuted the Israeli claim, saying that the four of them were heading to Nablus City, in the northern West Bank, but when the road to Nablus was closed they turned back to cross via the Beit El checkpoint.
Muhammad Hani al-Abbasi added that they went into the wrong road when arriving at Beit El and suddenly realized they were inside an illegal Israeli settlement, “as we attempted to go back to the main road we were chased by either Israeli soldiers or settlers, we could barely see as there were not enough lights and it was very dark, they were about ten kilometers far from our vehicle, we kept going and we were between two settlements.”
Al-Abbasi continued to say, “We were surrounded, they randomly opened fire at us, we did not stop, we kept going fast, the vehicle’s glass broke and the tires were punctured.”
He added that one of their friends, Mahmoud al-Abbasi, then started shouting “Qassem… Qassem” as Qassem was in a very difficult condition.
Al-Abbasi added that they called an ambulance before Israeli forces arrived and forced them out of the vehicle, “But Qassem did not move and we told them to get him an ambulance.”
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The al-Abbasi family from Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem demanded, on Friday, that an investigation be immediately opened in the circumstances of the shooting and killing their 17-year-old son, Qassem Muhammad al-Abbasi, by Israeli forces near the Beit El checkpoint in the central occupied West Bank, late Thursday.
In a press conference held by the family, on Friday morning, family elder Moussa al-Abbasi, said that what happened to Qassem is murder, and demanded an investigation into the details of the shooting.
Al-Abbasi added that the family demanded an autopsy, and that the body of Qassem be returned so that the family can have a funeral and burial for their son.
Israel To Autopsy the Corpse Of Qassem Abasi
December 22, 2018
Salwa Hammad, the coordinator of the Palestinian National Committee for Retrieving Bodies of Martyrs, said that Israel has decided to autopsy the corpse of Qassem al-Abasi, 17, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on December 20th, 2018.
Hammad said that Qassem’s corpse would likely be handed back to his family for burial Sunday.
Karim Jubran, the head of the field office of Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem), said that the investigations Israel sometimes carries out after killing Palestinians cannot be trusted, and only aim at burying the truth.
He added that the experience B’Tselem had in similar previous cases revealed that Israel conducts these alleged investigations in order to prevent international parties and organizations from conducting them.(...)
Migrants: Tunisia rejects practice of forced repatriations
Tunisia ’’categorically refuses forced expulsions of its irregular migrants from their respective hosting countries’’, Tunisian Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi said, opening a seminar in Tunis on migration in relation to objectives of sustainable development.
The minister added that the Tunisian government supports the right to access basic services and integration projects in hosting countries and does not accept for its migrants to return unless they are willing to do so.
In his address, Trabelsi denounced the use of unilateral measures by some hosting countries, stressing that irregular migration can only be tackled with the help of conventions and international agreements.
Trabelsi said an estimated 200,000 Tunisians are residing abroad without regular documents.
He announced the presentation of a national strategy on migration to Parliament in 2019 with the objective of institutionalizing the system of migration, asylum and residence in Tunisia.
Trabelsi continued by recalling that the majority of illegal migrants are fleeing war, human rights abuses and difficult economic conditions, insisting that the migration dossier should be handled with more responsibility and equality between northern and southern Mediterranean countries. He said the world economic system should be fairer. Lorena Lando, head of the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), spoke about the relation between migration and sustainable development targets in the UN’s 2030 agenda, noting that a national strategy could be one of the possible solutions for Tunisia to tackle the migration dossier.
According to IOM, there are an estimated 60,000 undocumented migrants in Tunisia, while Tunisian migrants living abroad without regular documents are about 1.3 million.
#résistance #migrants_tunisiens #réfugiés_tunisiens #Tunisie #expulsions #renvois #renvois_forcés
Blind creature that buries head in sand named after Donald Trump | US news | The Guardian
A newly discovered blind and burrowing amphibian is to be officially named Dermophis donaldtrumpi, in recognition of the US president’s climate change denial.
The #cryptocurrency market is one of the fastest moving industries in the world right now. While the market and its proponents are generating a large amount of space for even higher investment activity, there is always a little bit of apprehension when it comes to the market. The reason for the inherent apprehension is the fact that there is always a sword hanging over the cryptocurrency market’s head. In terms of regulation.But with that being the case, in the past ten years of existence, the cryptocurrency market has amassed quite a lot of positive appreciation and attention as well. What started off as a single coin market now has over 2,000 active coins.With the cryptocurrency market growing at the speed that it is, there is a lot of talk about the future of the market as a whole. (...)
Want To Recruit Better Engineers ? Open Source Your Code
“Were you aware of the #open-source software program at Facebook?”That was the question James Pearce, former head of Facebook’s open source program, asked engineers when studying why they joined the company. According to Pearce’s presentation at O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention, not only were two-thirds of Facebook’s engineers aware of the open-source program before they joined the company, but half of the engineers said it “positively contributed to their decision to work for” Facebook.Facebook isn’t alone in this arena. Open sourcing code, regardless of company size, is one of the best ways to recruit top engineers. We analyzed the 30 most-applied-to U.S. tech companies of all time on AngelList and found that over half of them host open-source projects:There is an art, however, to leveraging (...)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday evening.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian from the al-Jalazun refugee camp arrived to the Palestine Medical Center in a critical condition.
Sources added that the teen was injured with live bullets in the abdomen.
The ministry identified the killed teen as Mahmoud Youssef Nakhleh.
Israeli forces opened fire at the teen from a very close range; from less than 10 meters away.
Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Nakhleh afterwards, however, Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were able to take him and transfer him to the Palestine Medical Center after having to quarrel Israeli soldiers for more than 30 minutes.
Nakhleh was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
After Shooting a Palestinian Teen, Israeli Troops Dragged Him Around – and Chased an Ambulance Away
A Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp was shot in the back and died after soldiers kept him from receiving medical care
Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Dec 20, 2018
What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again – and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint? For 15 minutes, the Israel Defense Forces soldiers carried the dying Mahmoud Nakhle , pulling him by his hands and feet, it’s not clear why or where, before allowing him to be evacuated. They had already shot him and wounded him badly. He was dying. Why not let the Palestinian ambulance that arrived at the site rush him to the hospital and possibly save his life? Nakhle died from a bullet in his liver and loss of blood. He was two weeks after his 18th birthday, the only son of parents who are descendants of refugees, and he lived in the Jalazun refugee camp adjacent to Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Nakhle was killed last Friday, December 14.
Getting to Jalazun took a long time this week; it was a long and stressful trip. Overnight, terror attacks and other sights of the intifada had returned simultaneously: innumerable surprise checkpoints, such as we hadn’t seen for years; long lines of Palestinian vehicles, forced to wait for hours; drivers emerging from their cars and waiting in desperation by the side of the road, anger and frustration etched on their faces; roads blocked arbitrarily, with people signaling each other as to which was open and which was closed; some cars making their way cross-country via boulder-strewn areas and dirt paths to bypass the roadblocks, until those options, too, were sealed off by the army. And also aggressive, edgy, frightened soldiers, carrying weapons that threatened just about anyone who made a move near them.
Welcome back to the days of the intifada, welcome to a trip into the past: Even if only for a moment, the West Bank this week regressed 15 years, to the start of the millennium.
The wind blows cold at the Jalazun camp. A throng of thousands of children and teenagers is streaming down the road, heading home from their schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency. The two schools, one for boys and one for girls, are situated at the camp’s entrance, on both sides of the main Ramallah-Nablus road. We were here a year and a half ago, after IDF soldiers shot up a car stolen from Israel when it stopped outside the settlement of Beit El, spraying it with at least 10 rounds, and killing two of its passengers. About half a year ago, we returned to the camp to meet Mohammed Nakhle, the bereaved father of 16-year-old Jassem, one of those fatalities. The father cried through our entire meeting, even though this was a year after he had lost Jassem.
Mahmoud Nakhle, who was killed last week, was a relative of Jassem’s.
Last Friday, there was stone throwing in the valley between Jalazun’s boys’ school and the first houses of Beit El, across the way. The soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the young Palestinians. Quite a few of the camp’s residents have been killed at this spot, which has become a main arena of the struggle against the large, veteran settlement that looms through every window in poverty-stricken, overcrowded Jalazun, situated below.
The stone throwing had slowed down in the afternoon and had just about stopped when an IDF force, arriving in two vehicles, began chasing after the youths, who were now on their way back to the camp, at about 4 P.M. The latter numbered about 15 teens, aged 14 to 18. Suddenly the soldiers started shooting, using live ammunition – even as calm was apparently about to be restored. A video clip, one of several that captured the event, shows the soldiers walking along the road and firing into the air.
The wail of an ambulance slashes the air now, as we stand at the site of the incident with Iyad Hadad, a field investigator for the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem, who collected testimony from eyewitnesses. Nakhle chose to return home by way of a dirt path that passes above the camp. The soldiers ran after him and one of them shot him once, in the lower back. Nakhle fell to the ground, bleeding.
The occupant of the first-floor apartment in the closest building in Jalazun, just meters from the site of the incident, heard the shot, the groans and a call for help. She assumed someone had been wounded, but wasn’t sure where or who he was. From her window she saw a group of soldiers standing in a circle, though she couldn’t see the wounded person who lay on the ground between them. A second eyewitness saw one soldier nudge Nakhle with his foot, apparently to see if the teen was still alive. They then pulled up his shirt and pulled down his pants, apparently to check whether the stone-throwing youth was a dangerous, booby-trapped terrorist. As the video accounts show, he was left lying like that, exposed in his blue underwear. The woman from the apartment rushed out to summon help, but the soldiers fired toward her to drive her off. One bullet struck her husband’s car.
The soldiers lifted Nakhle up and carried him a few dozen meters from where he’d fallen, laying him down at the side of the road. One of the eyewitnesses related that they carried him “like you haul a slaughtered sheep.” The video clip shows them carrying him not in the prescribed way for moving someone who is seriously wounded, but by his hands and his feet, his back sagging.
Before the soldiers shot at the first eyewitness – whose identity is known to the B’Tselem investigator – to scare her off, she shouted at them to let the wounded person be and to allow him to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. “Leave him alone, do you want to kill him… give him aid.” She also shouted at the soldiers that she was his mother – apparently hoping that the lie would stir pity in them – but to no avail. In the video shot by her daughter on her cell phone, the woman sounds overwrought, gasping for breath as she cries out, “In God’s name, call an ambulance!”
After five to seven minutes, the soldiers again lifted Nakhle, once more by his extremities, and carried him a few dozen meters more, in the direction of the main road, and again laid him by the roadside. A Palestinian ambulance that had arrived at the scene was chased off by the soldiers, who threatened the driver with their rifles. As far as is known, the soldiers did not give Nakhle any sort of medical aid. The woman from the house again shouted, now from her window: “In God’s name, let the ambulance take him away.” But still to no avail.
It was only after a quarter of an hour, during which Nakhle continued to bleed, that the soldiers allowed an ambulance to be summoned. A video clip shows Nakhle raising one hand limply to the back of his neck, proof that he was still alive. Half-naked, he’s placed on a stretcher and put in the ambulance, which speeds off, its siren wailing, to the Government Hospital in Ramallah.
The teen apparently breathed his last en route, arriving at the hospital with no pulse. Attempts were made to resuscitate him in the ER and to perform emergency surgery, but after half an hour, he was pronounced dead. Dr. Muayad Bader, a physician in the hospital, wrote on the death certificate that Mahmoud Nakhle died from loss of blood after a bullet entered his lower back, struck his liver and hit a main artery, damaging other internal organs.
A group of children is now standing at the site where Nakhle fell, practicing stone throwing on the way back from school. They hurl the stones to the ground in a demonstrative fit of anger. In the mourning tent that was erected in the courtyard of the camp, adorned with huge posters of the deceased, the men sit, grim-faced, with the bereaved father, Yusuf Nakhle, 41, in the center. Disabled from birth, he is partially paralyzed in his left arm and leg. We asked him to tell us about Mahmoud’s life.
“What life? He hadn’t yet lived his life, they robbed him of his life,” he replies softly. Mahmoud attended school until the 10th grade and then studied electrical engineering at a professional college in Qalandiyah. He completed his studies and afterward a year of apprenticeship, and was waiting to find a job as an electrician. His father was waiting for him to help provide for the family. Yusuf is a technician at a pharmaceuticals company in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. He and his wife, Ismahan, 45, have two more daughters, aged 14 and 4. Mahmoud was their only son.
In response to an inquiry, the IDF Spokesman’s Office gave Haaretz the following statement this week: “On December 14, 2018, there was a violent disturbance adjacent to Jalazun, during which dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with demonstration-dispersal measures.
“During the disturbance, a Palestinian holding a suspicious object approached one of the soldiers. The soldier fired at him. Later, it was reported that the Palestinian had been killed. The Military Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Upon its completion, the findings will be transferred to the military advocate general’s office.”
The spokesman’s office did not respond to a question regarding the denial of medical assistance to Mahmoud Nahle.
Last Friday, the hours passed normally in the home of Nakhle family in the Jalazun camp. Breakfast, a shower; the son asks his father if he needs anything before going out around midday. Never to return. At 4:30, Yusuf’s brother called to inform him that his son had been wounded and was in the Government Hospital. By the time his father arrived, Mahmoud had been pronounced dead.
“We are human beings and it is our right to live and to look after our children. We too have feelings, like all people,” says Rabah, Mahmoud’s uncle, the brother of his father. Yusuf has watched the video clips that document the shooting and the hauling of his dying son dozens of times, over and over. Ismahan can’t bring herself to look at them.